Green energy Vs Fossil fuels: Which is Better for the Environment

Discover the advantages of green energy over fossil fuels and its positive impact on us and the environment to build a greener and more sustainable future.

As the world continues to develop and grow, energy demand has become an increasingly critical issue. At present, fossil fuels are the primary sources of energy, but their continued use has led to detrimental effects on the environment. But on the other hand, green energy is gaining traction as an alternative source of power. 

Fossil fuels are a finite resource that is extracted from the earth’s crust. The most commonly used fossil fuels are oil, coal, and natural gas. The use of fossil fuels has been linked to environmental issues, including air and water pollution, climate change, and oil spills. Fossil fuels are the largest contributor to over 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions.

Let’s look at the advantages of green energy sources over fossil fuels:

Green Energy sources are all around us

Approximately 6 billion people, which accounts for around 80 percent of the world’s population, reside in nations that rely on imported fossil fuels, leaving them exposed to geopolitical disturbances and crises. On the contrary, renewable energy sources remain largely untapped despite their availability in all countries. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), by 2050, it is feasible and necessary for renewable energy to supply 90 percent of the world’s electricity.

Green energy is cheaper

Renewable energy is currently the most affordable alternative for generating power across the majority of the globe. The prices for renewable energy technologies are declining rapidly, as evidenced by the 85 percent reduction in solar power costs between 2010 and 2020. The costs of onshore and offshore wind energy became 56 percent and 48 percent less expensive, respectively. By 2030, economic electricity generated from renewable sources has the potential to provide up to 65 percent of the total global electricity supply. Such a transition would have a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions, helping to combat climate change.

Green energy is healthier

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that nearly 99 percent of the global population breathes air that surpasses the recommended air quality standards, posing a significant threat to their health. Shockingly, over 13 million deaths worldwide each year are attributable to preventable environmental factors, including air pollution. Therefore, the adoption of green energy sources also tackles air pollution and its negative health impacts.

Green energy creates jobs

Investing a dollar in renewable energy sources results in three times more job creation than in the fossil fuel industry. The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that the shift towards achieving net-zero emissions will lead to a net increase in employment opportunities within the energy sector. Furthermore, an additional 16 million employees would be needed to cater to energy-related industries, including manufacturing electric vehicles and ultra-efficient appliances, and working on pioneering technologies such as hydrogen.

Green energy makes economic sense

In 2020, around $5.9 trillion was spent on subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, including direct subsidies, tax exemptions, and the unpriced health and environmental damages caused by fossil fuel usage. On the contrary, for us to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, approximately $4 trillion per annum needs to be invested in renewable energy, including infrastructure and technological advancements. The initial cost may seem overwhelming for some nations with limited resources. Financial and technical support may be necessary to facilitate their transition toward renewable energy. The reduction of pollution and climate change effects alone could save up to $4.2 trillion globally each year by 2030.

Pitfalls of Fossil Fuels

Although fossil fuels remain the predominant energy source, accounting for over 80 percent of global energy production. Despite the growing concern over their impact on the environment, fossil fuels remain the primary sources of energy for transportation, electricity generation, and industrial processes. Moreover, the extraction of fossil fuels often leads to environmental degradation, particularly in areas where oil and gas are drilled or mined. The process of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, has been linked to water pollution, earthquakes, and other environmental issues. 

Developments in Green Energy Sector

The transition to green energy has been slow due to the high cost of infrastructure development and the lack of government policies and incentives to promote renewable energy. Presently, approximately 29 percent of the world’s electricity is generated from renewable sources. Technological innovations like advancements in AI and 3D Printing can play a crucial role in taking advantage of green energy sources. The innovation of lightweight solar panels has opened a new door in the green energy sector. 

The Bottom Line

Green energy is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly source of energy than fossil fuels. Governments and policymakers can promote the adoption of green energy by implementing policies and incentives that encourage the use of renewable energy. Furthermore, there needs to be a significant investment in research and development to improve the efficiency of green energy technologies and make them more affordable. It is essential to shift towards renewable energy and invest in green energy technologies for a cleaner and greener future.

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Mousona Poddar

A passionate Content Writer who helps to scale your business by words with excellent research skills.

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